The latest from Iran

The Iranian regime's crackdown is proceeding apace, with new detentions of reformist leaders and new restrictions on journalists and social networking tools.

As always, treat unconfirmed report with caution. This from the Guardian:

There were also unconfirmed reports that Mohammad Asgari, who was responsible for the security of the IT network in Iran's interior ministry, was killed yesterday in a suspicious car accident in Tehran. Asgari had reportedly leaked evidence that the elections were rigged to alter the votes from the provinces. Asgari was said to have leaked information that showed Mousavi had won almost 19m votes, and should therefore be president.

The article also notes that Isfahan's prosector general -- who seems like a real peach -- warned that the penalty for organizing protests could be death. "We warn the few elements controlled by foreigners who try to disrupt domestic security by inciting individuals to destroy and to commit arson that the Islamic penal code for such individuals waging war against God is execution," he said.

Also of note: Ayatollah Khamenei reportedly referred to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Iran's "elected president," which tells you as much as you need to know about the integrity of this recount business.

And here, via NIAC, is an intriguing nugget from Reza Aslan:

Some of my sources in Iran have told me that Ayatollah Rafsanjani, who is the head of the Assembly of Experts — the eighty-six member clerical body that decides who will be the next Supreme Leader, and is, by the way, the only group that is empowered to remove the Supreme Leader from power — that they have issued an emergency meeting in Qom.Now, Anderson, I have to tell you, there’s only one reason for the Assembly of Experts to meet at this point, and that is to actually talk about what to do about Khamenei. So, this is what I’m saying, is that we’re talking about the very legitimacy, the very foundation of the Islamic Republic is up in the air right now. It’s hard to say what this is going to go.


Terror in Isfahan

Bill Keller describes what it's like outside Tehran. Horror:

At one point, a white S.U.V. with a red ambulance-style light raced up behind a knot of protesters and smashed into them, running one over before racing a few blocks to the protection of the riot police.

Bands of Basiji, the authorized plainclothes vigilantes riding motorbikes and wielding long truncheons, were let loose by the hundreds to sow fear far afield from the actual unrest. Many wore the green headbands of the opposition — possibly to camouflage, or to confuse.

At one point a group of bystanders (including one journalist with a gift for being in the wrong place) was cornered on the ancient Si-o-Seh Bridge and faced a choice between getting their heads broken or tumbling 20 feet to the dry Zayandeh River bed. At the last minute, the thugs were distracted by other prey to beat on.